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This Arizona law makes it easier for practicing dental hygienists

Moving is hard. Not just the packing, house hunting, school searching and don’t even get me started about finding an emergency contact for your kid’s paperwork, but if you hold a professional state license it could be a career ender. I have been a Navy wife for over 20 years and a Registered Dental Hygienist for longer than that. We have moved eight times (and that’s below average) since I joined my husband on this crazy ride. Some states were easy to get licensure, some were so daunting it wasn’t worth it for the time we’d be stationed there. In California, I put away my scalers for two years and became a nanny because the idea of spending thousands of dollars, sitting for a new board exam, finding a suitable patient in a new area, and taking said patient two hours away to clean half of their mouth was just too much. However, in Rhode Island, I was able to easily fill out some paperwork and hop into the job market even though we were only stationed there for six months. 

I was thrilled when I read about a new law recently passed in Arizona. This law will recognize almost ALL out-of-state licensures for new Arizonans who have been licensed in their previous state for more than a year and who didn’t have a criminal conviction or disciplinary action related to their job. What a game changer for those of us with professional licenses! Arizona’s Governor, Doug Ducey, says the legislation will be especially useful in helping the state welcome the spouses of people who are relocating to Arizona. Ducey said this about the new law, 

“When I talk to business owners, they tell me [we should do] whatever we can do to make it easier on them to hire people, especially relocating spouses with a trailing spouse, to find work. At a time when unemployment is historically low businesses need qualified workers. You see a lot of spouses who are moving and then choose not to reenter the workforce because of the burdens or obstacles that are in front of them. In Arizona, we’re removing those obstacles.”

I particularly love this quote from Dulcey, said while arriving to the bill signing in a U-Haul truck, “You don’t lose your skills simply because you pack up a U-Haul truck and make the decision to move to Arizona.” I’ve said this for years about teeth, they aren’t different from one state to another. And in a time when we need to increase access to care in dentistry, and we hear that trade jobs are in desperate need of qualified workers this is a landmark move in the right direction.  I hope more states will follow suit.


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